Next week is Mardi Gras and here is a meal to make that celebrates the flavors of New Orleans, a city that celebrates this occasion.
Cutlets with Creole Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 medium bell pepper, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 chopped garlic clove
1 large ripe tomato, seeds removed, diced
1 cup chicken stock
3 green onions, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 small sprig fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 cutlets, pounded thin (chicken, veal, pork or turkey)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon salt-free Creole seasoning (store-bought or homemade, recipe below)
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup freshly grated bread crumbs
Fresh parsley, chopped
For the Creole Sauce
Heat butter in a heavy saucepan and sauté the onions, bell pepper, celery, and garlic until just tender, but not browned–about five minutes.
Add the fresh tomatoes to the pot, along with the chicken stock. Bring to a light boil.
Add all the remaining sauce ingredients and cook over medium heat for five minutes.
Lower to a simmer and cook until the sauce becomes very thick. Adjust salt and pepper seasoning if needed, and keep warm until time to serve.
For the cutlets
Tip – I like to prepare the cutlets earlier in the day and refrigerate them uncovered until ready to cook because the breading stays in place better when frying.
Pound the cutlets between two pieces of waxed paper (or inside a large food-storage bag) until they are evenly thick and about twice their original size.
Mix the salt and Creole seasoning into the flour, and lightly coat the cutlets.
Place the cutlets in the beaten egg and then dredge in the bread crumbs.
Heat a coating of oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high and cook the cutlets for about a minute and a half per side, or until the exterior is golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Spoon about 1/4 cup of the Creole sauce on each cutlet and serve garnished with chopped parsley.
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 tablespoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons black pepper
1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons paprika
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl or jar and stir so that all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Store in an airtight container or zip lock bag.
Cajun Rice Saute
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 small bell pepper (baby bell), diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 1⁄2 cups cooked rice (¾ cup uncooked)
1 ½ cups chicken broth
Cook the rice in chicken broth. Set aside
In a skillet heat the oil and saute the onion, celery, and bell pepper until tender.
dd garlic, Cajun seasoning and thyme. Saute for 1 minute. Add the cooked rice and heat until hot stirring frequently until combined with the other ingredients. Spoon into a serving bowl and top with chopped parsley.
Southern Style Greens
Bacon fat is often used in this recipe but I use olive oil instead.
2 pounds greens (collards, mustard, chard), washed and drained
1 large onion, diced
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon hot sauce
Salt and pepper
Use a knife to cut on either side of the large rib running up each green leaf. Remove it and discard it. Stack about 4 to 5 leaves, roll them up and cut into 1/2-inch strips. Repeat with remaining leaves.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until softened.
Add broth, vinegar, sugar and hot sauce to pot. Stir to combine.
Add greens and use tongs to turn and mix them until they reduce in size some. Cover, turn heat to low and cook until tender (30-60 minutes depending on the type of greens used), stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper.